1. the long, fibrous, aromatic roots of an East Indian grass, Vetiveria zizanioides, used for making hangings and screens and yielding an oil used in perfumery.
  2. Also called khus-khus. the grass itself.

Origin of vetiver

First recorded in 1840–50, vetiver is from the Tamil word veṭṭivēr Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for vetiver

Historical Examples of vetiver

  • She would go into ecstasies on breathing in the patchouli and vetiver used for Cashmere shawls.

    My Private Menagerie

    Theophile Gautier

  • The women powder their hair with an odorous substance obtained from the berries of the vetiver.

British Dictionary definitions for vetiver


  1. a tall hairless grass, Vetiveria zizanioides, of tropical and subtropical Asia, having aromatic roots and stiff long narrow ornamental leaves
  2. the root of this plant used for making screens, mats, etc, and yielding a fragrant oil used in perfumery, medicine, etc

Word Origin for vetiver

C19: from French vétiver, from Tamil vettivẽru
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012